Friday, December 30, 2011

The year that was (2011) and the Year to be (2012)

Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team 2011-2012

The year of 2011 and flashed past us and it is time to reflect on what the Team achieved and did not achieve in 2011 and what our aims and goals are for 2012
Click on this link to see some of the great pics and moments of 2011
Thanks to Glen Murray,Kelvin Trautman,Jacques Marais,Dael Bunge,Nicola Gilleomee and all the rest who have taken pics while we were out having fun
January 2011
10 Jan: The first Kurland Summer Trail Run: We had 130 runners with 3 different races. Pennypinchers branding at the start /finish .Nic Cuthbert  2nd.Cairnbrogie Dairy supplier ice cold milk at the finish. Donate R1000.00 to Kids of Kurland and R1000-00 to Mind the Gap Foundation.

15 January: Attakwas Extreme Mountain Bike Race 135km. Jeff and  Jeannette andt James take part despite 2 broken ribs. This is a good tough training ride to start the year and keep the Team honest over Christmas.

February 2011: Garth Pienke joins the Team for 2011 Expedition Africa. Jeanette and James attend Wheel Chair race in George with Sterreweg Kids. Garth finishes 3rd in the Proscreen Series of trail runs in East London

March 2011: Garmin War Trail: 265 km Staged Adventure Race in the Aliwal North / Lady Grey area. Jeff, James, Garth and Chris Crewdson take part.

Jeanette wins the ladies race, James 9th. Chris at 50 yrs old becomes the oldest finisher well up in the top half of the field. The Team is actively involved in helping the BOBS FOR GOOD FOUNDATION give away 100 pairs of school shoes to a school in the Sterkspruit area after the 2nd day of racing.

April 2011

Good Friday 2011: The Cairnbrogie Easter Trail Run. We use the full Pennypinchers branding Trailer to brand the Barn. Nic Cuthbert  5th .  There are 250 runners and 24 disabled kids from Die Sterreweg that take part. GU Brew out on the course. Nic Cuthbert 2nd Tortoise Tuff Goukamma Trail runs.

Donate R2500-00 to Die Sterreweg Charity for disabled Kids

May 2011

Expedition Africa. 500km expedition Adventure Race. Starting and finishing in Onrus near Hermanus. The Team finishes 7th out of the 27 teams that started. Only 11 teams completed the full race. Nic Cuthbert 3rd Junior at PetroSA Half Marathon

June 2011

Recover and plan the next 6 months while Nic comes 2nd Asics Extreme Mountain Run

July 2011

Jeff takes part in the Knysna Oyster Festival big 5 competition (taking part in 5 of the festival events in 8 days) places 12th out of 140 entries .Nic comes 11th in the Featherbed Trail Run and 2nd team in the Xterra. Garth finishes 4th in the Katberg Sky trail 38km run.

James rides in the first Plettenberg Bay Mountain Bike Race. 75km. Comes in 22nd. August 2011

Nic Cuthbert wins the 25km Outeniqua Traverse trail run (first junior and first overall

James and Jeanette run the Otter Trail Run as safety back up Mountain Search and Rescue.

September 2011

Trans  Baavians Mountian Bike Race . 235km non stop. Jeff rides with his son Brandon and finishes well. James, Jeanette and Garth ride the race with out any support from seconds along the way and finish 3rd in their category (mixed 3s).

We receive our new branded kit from Second Skins just in time for the Karoo to Coast. The design of the kit has really worked well in terms of our sponsors logos . The problem of often wearing race bibs or back packs has been well resolved with clear branding on the sleeves and on the front of our shorts as well as the sun visors. James, Jeff and Garth combined  the race with a training weekend including the Buffalo Bay Trail Run 12km (Nic 3rd, Jeff, Garth, James 5, 6, 7, respectively) and some paddling on the Goukamma River.

October 2011

Jeanette to Adventure Racing World Champs with Team Cyanosis. (a late replacement for Hanlie Booyens) they finish 8th out of 89 teams

Eden Duo. The junior Team of Nicholas Cuthbert and Brandon Willcox win the race. James and late replacement for Jeanette, Voitex Orzechoski finishes second. Garth and Jeff finish 8th after a tough day out.

November 2011

Salomon Sky Run. 105km off road high altitude non stop trail run. James and Garth finish 18th, 19th in a field of 150 starters (only 89 finished).

December 2011

Kurland Summer Trail. We attract 170 Runners. GU and Pennypinchers brand the finish area. Nic finishes third overall in a strong field.

Donate R2000-00 to mind the Gap Foundation (Crags based charity).

The Blog.

With the inclusion of Nicholas Cuthbert (he is 17 years old and knows the technical stuff) in to the Team we have been able to up grade our blog and are now also on Twitter .The blog hits have increased over the year with the first month of over 1000 hits being November 2011, October feel just short with 983 hits. Twitter allows us to do live posting to the web from our phones while we are at a race. As you can see with some of the stats below the blog is receiving attention from all over the world as well.

 The information below was printed on Sunday December 18 2011.

Pageviews today

Pageviews yesterday

Pageviews last month

Pageviews all time history

Traffic SourcesMore »


AudienceMore »

With the whole Team being together over the weekend of the Kurland Trail Run we were able to work out our main objectives for 2012 and work out the best possible way of achieving these goals .

From an event point of view it was decided that we would all continue to compete in as many local races as we can in terms of trail running, mountain biking and canoeing as well as any multi sport events that may occur. (Most of these dates and calendars are not finalized for 2012 yet).

Chris Crewdson will be tackling the Garmin War Trail as the oldest competitor for the second year running. He has also indicated that he would like to be on the podium in the Masters category at the Salomon Sky Run at the end of the year.

Nic Cuthbert will focus on his trail running especially in the first part of the year (there is a whole list of these)  where after he will be committed to his Matric exams.
The main focus of the Team for the first 6 months of this year will be The Expedition Africa 500km Race to be held in May 2012.James,Jeff,Garth and Jeanette have decided to 100 % commit themselves to this race. The reasons are as follows

1)      The race is now sanctioned by the World Adventure Race Series and will attract quite a few overseas teams ,giving us the opportunity to compete against these teams.

2)      The race will be held in the Eastern Cape and is close to home as well as in Pennypinchers Country

3)      It is the biggest race in the country and all the top South African Teams will be there

4)      It is a true adventure race and that is what we do

5)      Being close to home we will be able to put together training sessions in the area and acclimatize to the harsh conditions of the Eastern Cape.

6)      We have got unfinished business form last years race and feel we now have the Team and the time together to really do well.

With this in mind we have plotted a route that will include the Attakwas Mountain Bike Race (135km tough) and the Garmin War Trail as well as 2 training camps as build up events for the main 500km mission in May.

The second six months of the year will include the Trans Baavians, The Eden Duo and the Salomon Sky Run as key events.

Event Organizing

This extra arrow to our quiver is turning out to be really successful. This last year we hosted 3 trail runs with a total of 570 runners taking part. The aim was to host a family fun filled day with a choice of routes for everyone to enjoy, young and old. We have been approached to include our two runs in a book of the best trail runs in the country and we will be hosting the journalists some time in the New Year to show off what we have done and see if the runs are selected.

This year we will once again organize three events (with some more if the ideas we have turn out). Over Easter we will host the Cairnbrogie Easter Trail Run and expect huge growth from this. At the end of the year we will once again hold the Kurland Summer Trail Run and in between we have some great ideas for either running, biking or adventure races. This third event needs to be selected carefully in terms of the very busy sporting calendar that is out there.

These events have three objectives

1)      To create an awareness and promote our sponsors using, branding ,media and a quality event

2)      To raise some funds for a local charity close to the event venue

3)      To promote the Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team brand

4)      To introduce and show case the world of adventure type sports to the Garden Route which is already becoming known as the Adventure Sport Capital of South Africa.
The Team would like to take this oppurtuinity to wish you all a Fit and Healthy 2012 and thank you all for your wonderfull support through out 2011.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Kurland Summer Trail Run

The Kurland Summer Trail Run Organized by the Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team 2011

Four days after the event and I can finally write my report on the Kurland Summer Trail Run. That is because this evening I finally got to run the whole route despite the cold and rainy weather. What an amazing run , I knew it was going to be good as we linked bits of jeep track with single track where we followed bush pig paths into the forests, joined old logging paths to new forestry roads and fire breaks. It was also tough the run started with a 4km uphill before turning into some single track through the forest and then it seemed to go up again for a bit through some fynbos and thick onder bos.At the end of a long downhill the fire break section took you upwards again and this time the reward was a great view across the Crags to Robberg. The downhill on the other side was no reward it was very steep. A short section along a district road at about the 10 km mark was a small relief from the knee jarring descent on the fire break. Off the road and after winding along next to the honey bush fields it was another treat of single track path through the forest. This section was a lot more technical than I thought it would be and you were constantly weaving in and out of the trees and monkey ropes. A quick section of farm road and then more paths to the finish but not without a splash through a muddy patch. 675 m of climbing and 16,75km of great trail running .The finish on the polo field was spectacular this evening even without all the banners and people as a rainbow filled the sky.

That is how I saw the 16km route, on the day there was however much more on offer. The Team had three objectives with the organizing of this event
First was to organize an event that would show case our sponsors and the Team.
Second to host an event that would involve the whole family and offer all participants a challenge at whatever level they choose.
Thirdly raise some money for a local charity close by to the venue, in this case The Mind the Gap Foundation.

The hard work started in November after the Sky Run with our weekends being spent cutting and scouting trails on the Kurland and Kleinberg properties in the Crags. Jeff is in his element doing this and once pointed in the right direction is unstoppable. Jeanette’s role here is the “bunny hugger” and she watches Jeff and his assistants like a hawk to make sure not even the smallest bush is hurt and at the same time wattle trees are demolished.

With the help of Google Earth all the dots were joined and with Chris being pulled back in to duty and Garth arriving from East London the Team started setting up the start finish area on Friday afternoon with a strong Easterly wind making sure that we would have to come back very early on Saturday morning to put up most of the branding. The full moon was high in the sky by the time we got back to the farm to eat and sort out the final bits and pieces. The moon was still up as we packed up and headed back to Kurland for the start of a fantastic day.

The Kurland Hotel staff were up early to and by 7:30 steaming cups of tea and coffee were on hand to greet the runners as they registered.

8:30 am and the first runners set off. The Kids Adventure Trail had Moms, Grans and toddlers heading under the start finish arch under the watchful eye of Garth and Jeannette. Their 1,5km route would take them into the forest, along a path through some ferns and then back across the fields crossing logs and fences along the way.

Next off was the 4km run. This route was designed specifically to take away the speedsters and young hooligans who had eaten all the kiddies Easter Eggs at our last race. The route here needed to be well marked and non technical but difficult enough to keep these speedsters busy for just under half an hour. The race started and it was clear that we had the right people in this race as everyone over the age of 10 was left at the start arch wondering what had bulleted past them. Our Adventure Racing team has very clear policy about not following people and also making sure we are always going in the right direction, this clearly was not the policy of young Deon Nagel who missed a turn on the route marked with a 2m square Pennypinchers banner and 2 arrows and then led the whole field on a unmarked round about route to the Pavilion (adding about 1,5km to the route).

The 6km route would have more climbing and a longer downhill through the forest and would be a good introduction to trail running for anyone wanting to venture off road for the first time. The route would finish along the same section as the 4 km route with nobody on the race missing the “Nagle “gate. With young Dylan Van Wyk blitzing this route in 28 min winning the race overall as well as being first junior home. Amy Williams from Knysna was second girl home.

The 16km route would follow the same first 2 km of the 6km and then the runners were split by a GU banner and sent further up the hill and into the new additions to our route. Melakhaya came through from Knysna with Jeff at 4:30 that morning helped us set up the start area and then promptly went out and demolished the field and completed the 16.5km in a very respectable 1hr08. Coming in, in second place was Knysna’s Mark Collins I a time of 1hr19 min with Pennypinchers Adventure Racing Team junior Nic Cuthbert in a very respectable third place. Watching the DVD footage of the race I was amazed at how close the ladies race was out in the field with a group of them all together for a lot of the time. All of them saying how much fun it was but actually there quite a race was going on. It was Chloe Carmes who broke away to take first place from local Shelly De Villiers who looked like she paced herself well and had a good last quarter of the race. Third place was Crags local Charlotte Rodgers and in forth Oakhill Adventure Racer Mikhayla Olivier.

By the time all the athletes had completed their races the day had warmed up and they were treated to an ice cold supply of GU Brew at the finish line. Once fully rehydrated with carbs and electrolytes replaced most runners headed towards the Pavilion Restaurant and tucked into the Burgers,wors rolls and chips that were on offer as well as that well deserved beer.

With unbelievable support from local businesses prize winners received some great prizes and after some lucky draws all the runners were heading out patting themselves on their backs for competing in the 2nd Kurland Summer Trail Run.

Album 1

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Album 5

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ARWC Nettski's Report

Finally I got my act together to right a race report for the AR world Champs in Tasmania.

Firstly I just want to Thank all of you for the your support enthusiasm it was and still is amazing I still get asked about the race THANK YOU SO SO MUCH for showing such interested.

Its quite hard to right a race report for such a long race without writing a journal so I'm just going to take out one incident which will always stick in my mind, but before that I better write a bit about what Tasmania looks like. It is beautiful and wild the Forests are lush and green with ferns taller than Nicolas which says quite a lot and mosses covering every fallen tree so its rich in different greens but not thick as a jungle, more like our Garden Route forest with gum trees as thick as our yellow woods.

The coast is rough and wild like our own Robberg with very similar vegetation which scratches you to shredders ala fynbos!! The weather well that can get freezing which we experienced on the long hike wind, snow and rain all together but luckily for the rest of the race we had pretty good weather. Me! well considering my build up for this race 2 weeks of panic attack training and not such a good base due to wedding fever, one could say I was well rested and nicely fed (vino,vino and dinning out). I was thou pleasantly surprised that I survived, still could smile and could have carried on except for my swollen sore shines which where literally a pain.

At the end of the report which is beginning to look like a book I will write the distances we covered which Nicolas send to me since I had no idea and people kept on asking me. All I can say it looks damn long and impressive cant believe we did that. And since it looks so impressive I have to add that to the report also it makes me look very very hardcore.

Okay finally to the incident that will stick with me for ever:

It was on our last hike along the coast which we started just before night time, the sleep monster was attacking me big time and to me it felt like we where wondering around in circles around this headland. Every time Nic took a look at the map Netski dropped to the ground hoping for a quick zzzzzz time well it never lasted very long. We got to the check point which to me looked like a jetty at a lake since it was dark now. During this time the wind picked up considerably and it was pretty chilly needless to say it started to bucket down but lucky for us there was a public toilet right next to the jetty. Sadly to say this is where we settled for the chilly night and the worst was the wall didn't even reach all the way to the ground more like a prefab wall about a foot above the ground. Needless to say the rain was coming in so we ended up pushing our backpack against the wall and leaning against them to stop the rain and wind. John was hugging the toilet with his emergency blanket while I squashed between Nic and Nathan needless to say the sleep was not very good. Between the shivering and here and there a bit of shut eye, daylight came with the rain having stopped but the wind was still howling, it was freezing.

The boys decided to use their emergency blanket as a buffer between their cloths and skin, so there they where ripping the emergency blankets into strips and stuffing them into their pants. John looked the best since he was wearing compression socks and cycling tights. The silver emergency blanket was sticking out of the socks and out of his pants he either looked like a candy wrapped badly in foil or a robot I couldn't quite make up my mind. But the best was when the boys started to walk this funny zizzzhed zizzed noise was coming from the "aliens" even thou the situation was pretty grim I had to laugh and it still makes me laugh. But we made it to the end in a amazing 8th place with never having trained or raced together before, with 2 people who didn't have this race in their yearly goal John who got asked 6 weeks before and me 2 weeks considering how much all the other teams train for this I was very very chuffed.

For some on course pics go to

Here is the course info:

9am start

1) 17km sea kayak - 2.5 hours, including transition

2) 20km trek through the Dial Mountain Range - 4.5 hours

3) 20km mtb to Gunns Plains Cave - 1 hour

4) 1 hour of caving.

5) 50km mtb to Leven Canyon - 4.5 hours (arrived at 10pm)

6) 60km of mountain trekking and kloofing down past Reynolds Falls and

the Vale River - 20 hours

7) 12km rafting on Lake Mackintosh in inflatable - 3 hours

8) 20km kayaking on Lake Mackintosh and Lake Rose - 5.5 hours

- We slept 2 hours in transition in Tullah until dawn

9) 105km mtb past Montezuma Falls to Stahan (Mid camp) - 10 hours

- We slept 3 to 4 hours in transition in Stahan, 6 hour stop. Left mid

camp at 21h45

10) 65km beach and fynbos hike to Granville Harbour - 19 hours

11) 150km mtb past Waratah to the Arthur River - 23 hours

- We slept 2 hours in tent alongside the road before the ferry crossing

12) 75km kayak & 12km trekking down Arthur River to Kununnah Bridge -

took us from 18h30 till 17h30 the next day with 11 hour darkzone

- We slept 7 hours during dark zone next to Arthur River. Got 45 mins

down river before darkzone. Actual kayaking time was 10 hours.

13) 70km mtb to the Rocky Cape - 5 hours

14) 25km coasteering to Boat Harbour - 10 hours in total from midnight

to 10am.

- We slept 2.5 hours in toilet near Jetty on the Rocky Cape

15) 35km mtb to the finish in Burnie - 2 hours.

- Finished just before midday.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kurland Summer Trail Run organised by the Pennypinchers AR Team

The routes are now finalized and I have to say they are all awesome from the Kiddies Adventure Trail up to the 16km Trail Run.

The 16km route is going to challenge the Garden Routes top trail runners while the more social runners will be treated to spectacular views over The Crags towards Robberg and single tracks through indigenous forests.

If you have kiddies and also want to run we have you will be able to do the 6km Trail Run after the Kids Adventure Trail (see starting times below)


1) Friday (9th Dec)12:00 NOON- online entries at close

2) Saturday (10th Dec) 7:00AM Registration Opens

3) Saturday (10th Dec) 8:15 AM Registration Closes

4) Saturday (10th Dec) 8:25 AM Race Briefing for 4Km Race

5) Saturday (10th Dec) 8:30 AM START 4km Race

6) Saturday (10th Dec) 8:32 AM START Kids Adventure Trail

7) Saturday (10th Dec) 8:35 AM Briefing 16Km Trail Run

8) Saturday (10th Dec) 8:35 AM Start 16km Trail Run

9) Saturday (10th Dec) 9.00 Am Briefing 6km Trail Run

10)Saturday (10th Dec) 9:05 Am Start 6km Trail Run
Contact James on 082 9257885 for more information